Discover Cannon Beach
Credit: Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce
Learn from the locals to discover the true magic of Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach locals know something that many of its visitors are still learning: summer is overrated. To most people, summer and the beach are considered a natural combination, but Oregon is not like most beach destinations. Oregonians typically don’t even refer it as “the beach.” To them, it’s the Oregon Coast and it’s much more than just a beach. To love Cannon Beach like a local and truly experience this remarkable place, there are some basic lessons to learn.
Lesson number one is that Cannon Beach doesn’t begin to reveal its authentic character until summer is over. Between October and May, the pace of the coast changes dramatically and it’s a magical time in Cannon Beach for wildlife lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy uncrowded beaches and the shops, galleries and restaurants in the village of Cannon Beach.
Almost like clockwork, when the summer crowds leave, herds of majestic Roosevelt Elk begin to emerge from the forest shadows and can often be seen ¬grazing in city parks or walking through the edges of town. You may need to stop your car as the herd crosses the road or ambles down a street. Now that’s a true Cannon Beach experience.
Locals keep an eye peeled for other wildlife sightings such as surprise flyovers from bald eagles, otters frolicking in Ecola Creek and a huge variety of migrating and wintering birds. They also watch for whale spouts just offshore, especially during the spring and winter migrations of nearly 20,000 Gray Whales.
Another critical lesson is that locals don’t love Cannon Beach because of the sun or only if it’s sunny. Those who live here embrace the reality that the Oregon Coast’s cool maritime climate makes for spectacular and everchanging conditions. The year’s most beautiful sunsets, dramatic cloud formations and captivating light spills over the stunning coastal landscapes during the fall, winter and spring. Fog weaves through the trees and a warm glow can blanket the beaches as the sun illuminates the lingering marine layer.
When summer is over, the Pacific Ocean takes on a new personality as large storm-driven waves pound the coastline and explode on rock formations along the shore. The sight and sound of roaring waves attest with inspiring fury that summer is over. Many visitors who love Cannon Beach like a local seek the wonderous sights that only the stormiest months are famous for: howling winds, drenching rains and enormous crashing waves.
To love Cannon Beach like a local, you welcome a forecast of mostly cloudy because that usually means partly sunny, when you can enjoy spectacular beaches without the crowds. Bring your raingear just to make sure your beach walk doesn’t have to be cut short if you get caught in a shower. If you don’t risk getting wet, you’re likely to miss some truly soul-touching moments.
Locals know that hiking the rainforest trails when it’s cool, damp or even raining is the best way to experience the rainforest. Trees provide both ample cover during passing showers and spectacular light shows when the sun beams through soggy branches and misty clearings.
Beachcombers are rewarded with the best finds of the year as high tides and strong winds bring in all sorts of natural and man-made surprises. From sand-smoothed shells and tumbling sand dollars to vintage glass fishing floats and occasional historical discoveries, anyone who loves this place like a local knows that when the seas are rough, the beachcombing is best.
The non-summer months aren’t for everybody, but if you’re not everybody, you will be welcome to love Cannon Beach like a local.